Matthew Davis / contributor
Woodbury lost half of its individual wins from last season but will look to put out a strong season with key returning wrestlers. "We've got six new guys in the lineup as far as having never wrestled in a varsity match before," Royals coach Justin Smith said. Besides the new wrestlers, the Royals return individual state entrants Cole West, Brock Rinehart and Brady Moesenthin. "They're settling for nothing less than being placers," Smith said.
With a strong core back, East Ridge will look to play deep into February this season. "Our goal is to get back to the section final and hopefully win it this time," Raptors coach Tom Kulenkamp said. Two returning Raptors had 24 or more points last winter. Senior forwards Siobhan Claugherty and Brehna Walz had 27 and 24 points, respectively. Both distribute the puck well, coming off 17-assists seasons.
Woodbury has youth on its side with a sophomore-heavy group for a program looking for a successful rebuild. "A few years ago, the majority of our kids in a playoff game against Hill-Murray were eighth- and ninth-graders," Royals head coach Chris Lepper said. "Now they're sophomores and juniors."
Halle Mestery took eighth individually as East Ridge finished fifth as a team for the Suburban East Conference girls cross-country championship. Mestery clocked a time of 19 minutes, 46.5 seconds to secure all-conference honors in the meet at Tanners Brook Golf Club Wednesday, Oct. 17. The eighth-grader bested ninth-place Forest Lake freshman Amelea Hauer's 19:55.7 by almost nine seconds.
Woodbury faced the steep climb of beating a defending Class 2A state boys soccer championship team in Stillwater twice in the same season on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Stillwater (16-1-2) had lost only once since 2015, a Sept. 21 defeat against the Royals. Woodbury (12-4) came to the defending champ's home field and escaped with a 1-0 victory. Anthony Wong had the goal for Woodbury in that upset victory, which ended Stillwater's 33-game unbeaten streak. The Royals did it despite getting outshot 22-7.